Photo: Sister school visitors from Huaibei No 1 High School and their hosts

Northcote High School Newsletter

29 August 2017
Issue Fourteen
For your diary
Community maker: Vale Fiona Richardson
Student Parent Teacher Conversations: Round 2 this week
Have a learning conversation
Supporting a safe school
Engaging students in democracy
Library News
Sporting success and opportunities
Northcote's roving reporters: news from student travels
Northcote hits the slopes
Comedy Night  - last chance!
Music events: this week and next: get your tickets now!
Future Earth: STEM in action as Northcote scientists get to work
Northcote Writes (and reads, and slams...)
Careers News
Go green and local
Northcote and China part 1: VCE offshore launches
Northcote and China part 2: our Young Leaders prepare for departure
Northcote and China part 3: Sister School visit
Let their voices be heard! 
Invitations: Year 11s on film and our drama students are Morphing...
Request: Student ID cards
Achievement and Curiosity: VCE Folio Season
Stay safe on your bike
Community notices
Northcote High School
9488 2300
St. Georges Rd
Northcote, Victoria, 3070

For your diary

Key dates 

  Please note the following events coming up:

  • Wednesday 30 August     Year 10-12 Vaccinations 
  • Wednesday 30 August     Big Band Boogie
  • Thursday 31 August          Parent Teacher Student Conversations (2nd round)
  • Tuesday 5 September      Strings, Wine and Cheese
  • Thursday 7 September    NHS Comedy Night Fundraiser @ Thornbury Theatre
  • Monday 11 September    Year 11 Media Night - NHS Library
  • Wednesday 13 September  Senior Music Tour (to 15 September)
  • Monday 18 September    Year 12 Practice Exams commence (to 22 September)
  • Monday 18 September     French and Italian trips depart
  • Friday 22 September        End of Term 3 (2pm dismissal)

Community maker: Vale Fiona Richardson

Photo: Fiona Richardson MP (left) on a visit to Northcote High School

An outstanding leader for women and our community

The Northcote High School community is saddened by the passing of Fiona Richardson.   
Since 2006 Fiona had been the Member for Northcote and, in the current Government, the Minister for Women. She was also the first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence in Australia.

Fiona was a great supporter and advocate for women, equity and public education.  Her commitment to education lives through a deep belief that communities are strengthened through their neighbourhood school. Northcote High School has been privileged to work with Fiona, developing a great partnership around shared values and making change. Fiona attended assemblies, graduations, politics and legal classes, leadership forums and launched the school's Master Plan with John Cain. She was to lead the schools 90th celebration last year, but poor health at that time made this impossible.


Each year at the Year 12 graduation Fiona presented the Catherine Helen Spence Award to a female student who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities – an attribute that is synonymous with Fiona.


Fiona’s capacity to consider the needs of students and staff, her openness to ideas and advocacy resulted in a long and positive relationship with our school and community.  Her values and opinions lived through her actions – she held fast when supporting community initiatives and made them happen, including tram super stops, upgrades of bike paths and unblocking of the Merri roundabout.


She was instrumental to the success of many school projects supporting our Campus Master Plan and ensuring Northcote’s case for Stage 1 funding was considered and approved at Budget time. The Performance Hub,  which will begin in October,  is a legacy of her advocacy. She also supported the ‘new’ Campus Master Planning currently underway, which will provide for permanent facilities for 1650 students, the highest of any school in the state. If funded this will mean the school yard will be given back to students rather than relocatables. 


Fiona championed the Leading Schools Funding for Northcote, resulting in the Year 9 Global Citizenship Centre and the upgrade of many reloctable buildings. She led the way for women and sport with the election commitment of the Inner City Netball project, which  will be delivered at Northcote via two competition-level netball courts due for construction this year.  Like the Performance Hub, they will be a school and community asset.


Northcote High School benefitted from Fiona’s generosity of time, thinking and action, and her commitment to understanding our needs, concerns and the complexities of our work.  She worked hard and was deeply committed to eliminating gender inequality and family violence in order to better the experience of future generations of young people.


Next week there will be a Memorial Service for Fiona in Northcote at which I will be speaking on behalf of the Northcote school communities. 


Our thoughts are with Fiona’s family and friends.


Kate Morris




A memorial service will be held for those community members who wish to be there in person, or in spirit. 

Regal Ballroom - 216 High Street, Northcote

10.30 am, Thursday 31 August 2017

Community-making at Northcote: have your say

Fiona Richardson epitomised a community-maker: someone who valued the area, its people and had the desire to work collaboratively to make it better.  We are interested in how you would like to 'make community' with us. The Events and Fundraising Working Group of School Council are seeking to understand the current need, passion, and type of involvement parents and families would like to have.


Please complete this short survey – only 14 questions!!  It takes less than 10 minutes.


The results will be used by the Working Group to determine next steps.

Student Parent Teacher Conversations: Round 2 this week


The second session of Student-Parent-Teacher Conversations this term is coming up on Thursday August 31, from 1.30-7.30 pm.  At the first session last Wednesday it was great to see so many students and families having quality conversations about learning.  Whilst formerly known as 'Parent Teacher Interviews', these conversations are in fact, about students taking responsibility for, and being supported in their learning: thus students are front and centre in the process.



To facilitate attendance by students and staff, the whole school operates periods 1-3, with dismissal after Period 3 (approximately 12.30 pm).

Bookings are made online, using Compass School Manager.

How to book

Compass Bookings opened from August 16, 4.00 pm


1. On the welcome page or under the Community tab you will find Parent Student Teacher Conferences. Click to follow the link.

2. After 4 pm Wednesday August 16 you will see “2017 PTN August 23 ” and also “2017 PTN August 31”. Click on the day that suits you. It does not matter which day you attend.

3. A panel will come up, as shown . At the top is “My Bookings”, with available spots in green. At the bottom are the names of your son/daughter’s teachers—”Available Staff”.

4. Click on the time you would like to see a teacher, in the top pane. Pull down to find your teacher's name. Click the Update button. A green sign at the top will show you its done! (If you don’t click the update button it won’t save your bookings)

The page looks a little like this:


- It’s a good idea to print or copy down your bookings! We do not keep a copy for you at school.

- If you don’t have a computer at home, you will be able to contact the office for assistance. (9488 2300) 

- This year we will again keep bookings open until the day meetings commence—that is, until 12.30 on each PTM day. 

Who to see

Student-Parent-Teacher Conversations are always well attended at Northcote High School. However, if you are new to the process, here is some advice:

- It is not necessary to try to see all of your son or daughter’s teachers at these events. For example, you don’t need to see your Year Level Program Leader, Head of School or even your child’s Tutor, unless there is a specific need.


- Interviews book out quickly for some staff. Please don’t delay to make your appointments.

- Select teachers to see on the basis of need. For example if you are concerned about how your child is going in a particular subject, contact with that staff-member should be a priority! If you miss out on seeing a teacher but need to see them, please contact them for another appointment via Compass .


- Learning Behaviours reports ('GPA') will be published in the week prior to the first round of PTS Conversations. We encourage you to use these to have a pre-conversation with your child about their progress. You can view this feedback on the Compass Portal. 


Several teachers may not be available for one or both of the Student-Parent-Teacher Conversation dates. They will be blocked out on their schedules.  Please note also that the following staff have just commenced Long Service Leave and therefore will not be available: Danny Leondidis, Sarah Green, Eva O'Hehir, Leah Downey.


Please check Compass Newsfeed on the day for any other absence announcements.

Some other teachers work part time and have limited availability on both days. Look for availability when you log on to Compass. If the teacher’s name does not come up as an option when you look on Compass, it means they don’t work that day! Please contact these teachers by Compass if required.

All teachers take a break between 5.00 and 5.40 pm for dinner. (It is not possible to stagger this break in a way that would be equitable for parents and staff).

Have a learning conversation

Using feedback with your child

We know that families play a crucial role in supporting student learning, as does ongoing feedback to students on their progress.  Recently released Learning Behaviour Reports, CAT and SAC feedback and NAPLAN results, as well as the Student Parent Teacher Conversations, make this an ideal time to engage with your child and to partner with us around their learning.  


Having a meaningful conversation with your child about their learning can sometimes be difficult. How can you avoid the one-word brush-off and assist them to reflect on their progress? Here are a few strategies.


1. Stay positive and focus on progress. Acknowledge effort and improvement, as well as achievement, with specific statements. For example: "Your Science teacher's feedback is that you have really improved the level of detail in your prac reports: I'm really pleased to see the extra effort you've put in there."


2. Ask how they feel. Ask about areas of a subject they feel confident in and are enjoying, and why. Similarly, ask which aspects they are feeling less sure about. Talk about their expectations of themselves, and their interests, without judgement or comparison to yourself, their peers or their siblings.


3. Employ a growth mindset. Ask questions that encourage your child to see setbacks and mistakes as learning opportunities, and to see challenges as desirable. Turn "I'm not sure I can do it, I'm just not very good at {subject/task}"  to "I'm not sure I can do it yet, but I think I can learn to with time and effort".  For more on growth mindset thinking, see


4. Work with your child to set realistic, concrete and achievable goals based on their learning feedback. For example, getting the next English assignment finished on time, asking a question if they're stuck in Maths class or taking all their equipment to Language class.  Focussing on small successes will build confidence and resilience and encourage them to see the feedback as an opportunity to grow.


With credit to

Where to find assessment feedback

To prepare for the Parent Student Teacher conversations we recommend that you log on to myNorthcoteHigh to have a look at any assessment feedback that has been provided. Feedback will usually be in the form of rubrics and comments which  will be personalised and improvement-focussed, with strategies which will help each child achieve their personal best. If you have any trouble accessing your child’s feedback through the myNorthcoteHigh portal please contact Mr Josh McDonald at [email protected] 

Supporting a safe school

Photo: Poster from Rainbow Day celebrations earlier this year

Humanity & Fairness = respect for all

As the debate around the postal survey on marriage equality continues, ministers in the Victorian Government have encouraged schools to support students who may be affected by the language, tone and content of the discussions.  One recommended source of support is the Safe Schools Program. This program helps schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students. Northcote High School was a founding member of the Safe Schools program.  Our values of Humanity and Fairness emphasise respect for all and embracing diversity, and we will be working with our students to ensure that these values are lived in our school community.


Students who are experiencing an increase in anxiety around this issue are encouraged to visit Student Services in M11; to join our Alphabet Space which is an LGBTIQ Diversity group for anyone and everyone including allies and Rainbow family members; and to contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Headspace (1800 650 890 or ) if they are in need of urgent assistance.

Engaging students in democracy

Photo: David Feeney MP speaks to the Year 11s

Local MP David Feeney visits Year 11 students

The democratic process has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as a result of the Federal Government's decision to enact a postal survey asking eligible Australians whether they support marriage equality. As a senior school, we have been encouraging students to become active citizens in this respect and to enrol to vote. Many students 16 years and over have taken the opportunity to enrol during the week. Students 18 years and over who are on the electoral roll will now have the opportunity to have their say on this very important issue.

We invited The Honourable David Feeney, MP to come and speak to our Year 11 cohort on the value of entering into the democratic process. He spoke of the importance of young people being able to have their say as the decisions politicians make on their behalf have a immediate and long lasting impact. Mr. Feeney highlighted the fact that during the last postal survey, young people were the most underrepresented group in the survey results.


Students were very impressed and engaged in the topic and we thank Mr. Feeney for allowing students to ask questions of which he answered in great detail.


Shane Gemmola

Head of Senior Years

Library News

Student Assistants program up and running

Twelve students have joined the Student Assistant program, and have been helping out before and after school, and during breaks. So far they’ve been learning to use the library system to check books in and out, and have been a great help with shelving. We have also had our first morning tea catch up – we’ll be doing this monthly, so we can meet with the Student Assistants as a group, discuss how things are going, and get their feedback on library services and initiatives.


Escape to Everywhere - the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week, 19 – 26 August

To celebrate Book Week, the library has challenged students to escape their usual reading habits and try something new!


We have a lucky dip of books available to borrow from the library desk. Books are wrapped in brown paper - so no clues about the author or genre!


Inside the package there are instructions on how to review the book on the library website. Students have until 15th September to submit a review – and we’ll be giving out prizes to the three most informative reviews in the last week of term!

Sporting success and opportunities

Photo: Regional Netball

Sports News

Senior Boys' AFL

Tuesday 15th August was a day to remember. 

Partnering Josh McDonald on our journey to Ballarat with our senior boys’ football team. On this day, the students had reached the last 8 teams in Victoria. With a Sports Academy school in each group of 4 (namely Maribyrnong and Rowville SC) with select sporting ability entry, specialist coaches and amazing facilities we may have seemed slightly disadvantaged. 


On the day watching Josh operate was like a classroom observation. The players were as one with him as they listened closely. He had outlined his intentions for the day and how we would measure success. Staying on task, focussing on each quarter, being disciplined and playing your role in the group. After an easy win against Maryborough we played Maribyrnong in the semi-final. Leading at half time by 10 points Josh calmly reassessed the student’s goals. Meanwhile the coach of Maribyrnong was roasting his players for their unacceptable predicament. The game continued in a tight tussle with Northcote winning by 22 points. This was a great result for the boys. 


After raucous celebrations Josh’s final word before leaving was how Hawthorn in the AFL prided themselves on keeping their environment clean and pleasant. The students after 120 minutes of play then set about cleaning and sweeping out our change rooms. The club officials who allowed us to use the rooms said to expect a positive email to our principal. 


The students now play off in the State Grand Final against (no not Rowville but McKinnon SC – watch out for George Georgiadis) on Tuesday 29th August at Highgate Reserve.


Craig Price  - recently retired but still active HPE faculty contributor

PS Retirement can only be enriched by the above opportunity

Netball and Hockey teams through to Finals

7&8 Netball

Year 7 and 8 netball teams played in the regional competition on Wednesday 16th Aug. Both teams won 2 out of 3 games and were unfortunately defeated by Hazelglen. Well done to both teams we can only get better from here….. Finals 2018 here we come.

Thank you Mr Price for transporting and supporting the teams (also for doing the washing).



On Friday the 18th of August the Year 9 and 10 girl’s hockey team recorded a 1-0 win against Thornbury High School. The rain didn’t stop the players who were keen to get out and show what all of those Wednesday lunch time practices have amounted to.


The team maintained composure and their persistence payed off just before half time and when Taysen Wilcox slotted the ball into an open goal. Great sportsmanship and competitive spirit was demonstrated throughout the entire game and the team were able to hold Thornbury at bay.


The sun came out behind the clouds for a celebratory picture after the game and the team will now compete in the North Region Finals. 

Sheridan Walsh

China Sport Tour 2018

At Northcote High School we have an excellent reputation for giving our students superb learning opportunities outside of the classroom with extra-curricular clubs, teams and a range of other curriculum linked trips.  2018 brings another fantastic opportunity in addition to the proposed Ski Trip.


We will be taking a group of 40 students on a Sport Tour to China. Promotion and applications of interest from students in years 8-11 will be open in the coming weeks. More information will be provided soon. Please see below a proposed outline of our tour.


Day 1: Melbourne-Beijing

Day 2: Summer Palace, Hutong Tour and Kung Fu Show

Day 3: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and a Sports Game with a local school

Day 4: The Great Wall, The Water Cube and The National Stadium

Day 5: Beijing-Xian

Day 6: Xian, The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Cycle the City Walls

Day 7: Xian- Huaibei

Day 8: Huaibei, Homestay with sister school and Sports Games

Day 9: Huaibei, Homestay with sister school and Sports Games

Day 10: Huaibei to Xuzhour to Shanghai

Day 11: Sports Game with a local school, Watch an international soccer game

Day 12: Shanghai Tower, Yuyuan Bazaar, Yu Garden and The Bund

Day 13: Melbourne


Further details will be released soon. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this please feel free to contact Sarah Blanchard, Head of Sport:  [email protected]

Upcoming Events

Tues August 29th – Senior Boys AFL State Final

Thursday August 31st – Intermediate Divisional Basketball

Tuesday September 5th – Year 8 Divisional Basketball and Table Tennis

Friday September 8th – Year 7 Divisional Basketball and Table Tennis

Northcote's roving reporters: news from student travels

Photo: Donovan meets the Queen of England

Donovan meets the Queen

Donovan Toohey of Year 11 went on the Crusaders Cricket England Tour for 3 weeks this year. They played about 16 games in various cricket clubs in the south of England. One of those games was against the Royal Household XI at Windsor Castle.

The cricket oval is in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the game was underway and Donovan was batting when the Queen arrived with Prince Phillip driving their green Rolls or Jaguar. They stopped playing and all players changed into official gear to meet the Queen individually and to have team photos taken. Play resumed as the Queen watched on.


Donovan continued batting to make 49 not out while the Queen and Prince Phillip watched on. Donovan’s innings won him the man of the match.

Sam finds the familiar in Finland

During August, Year 9 student Sam Sweatman has been on exchange in Finland. He has been enjoying his experience, making the most of opportunities to skate and to get to know his host family, and being the 'star tutor' of his English class.

His family reports that he compares the NHS experience favourably with Finland's well-respected education system! We were sent this picture of Sam outside his Finnish school, which reminded him of the entrance to Northcote. We look forward to hearing more of his adventures upon his return. 

Northcote hits the slopes

Photo: The group on Ski Camp

Ski Trip 2017

During Week 5, 48 students and 7 members of staff attended Ski Camp at Mt Hotham. Regardless of the constant blizzard all involved had a fantastic time.


Tuesday – the excitement began at 6am when we departed from school to the snowy mountain peaks of Mt Hotham. We arrived on the mountain at 12:30pm where we were able to settle into our on piste accommodation before collecting our ski equipment for the week. In the afternoon we took part in our first ski lesson and then had a little fun in the snow before heading back to our accommodation for a filling meal and a good night’s rest.


Wednesday – following a windy night and lots of snow the mountain was on lockdown from first thing in the morning. We started with a hot breakfast whilst we waited for the clouds to lift. Battling the elements we headed out to the ski runs that were open. We stopped for lunch to refuel as the snow had other ideas for us. In the afternoon many students hit the slopes again whilst some opted to have some fun in toboggans. We arrived back at the Snowbird Inn to a crackling fire and homemade dinner.

Thursday – the snow kept falling but the wind had eased, therefore following breakfast we met our ski instructors for a 1 and a half hour lesson. After our lesson we used what you have learnt to practice our turns before breaking for lunch. Refuelled for the afternoon meant that we could keep carving up the slopes till 4.30pm. We again arrived back at the Snowbird Inn to a crackling fire and homemade dinner.


Friday – fresh snow like we have never seen at Hotham before. Again we met our instructors to learn some more before heading to the slopes with friends. Sadly, we finished up on the slopes at 1pm, handed our equipment back and enjoyed our last lunch before meeting our driver to start our journey home.


Whilst some of us were hitting the slopes, staff back at school held down the forte with 7/8 Netball, 9/10 Hockey and Senior AFL teams all playing in Regionals or Finals - see the Sports News for more details.


HPE Faculty

Comedy Night  - last chance!

A fun night awaits

We're getting excited as  the Northcote High School Comedy Night fundraiser approaches. This is the major fundraising event of the year. Last year this event raised over $20,000 to support school projects. Fundraising such as this is central to Northcote High School's ability to continue to develop contemporary learning spaces in addition to projects funded by DET. This year, funds raised will target the development of collaborative and social indoor/outdoor spaces for our students.


It looks like being a great night, with acclaimed comedians including Tripod, Claire Hooper and Dave O'Neil generously providing the entertainment.  Tickets are selling fast: there are still some good spots available in the balcony. 


Thursday 7th September, 7pm

Thornbury Theatre

Please note: this is a licensed venue and the event is recommended for mature audiences only

Raffle prizes up for grabs!

We had a fantastic response to our request for raffle prize donations. Thank you to all who generously gave goods and services towards our raffle. The prizes are looking amazing...


Plus you will be able to grab some special treasures in our Silent Auction...

  • Set of historical transport maps
  •  Portable ballet barre
  • Manuscript assessment service

Stay tuned: Silent Auction bidding details will be released soon!

Music events: this week and next: get your tickets now!

Big Band Boogie - tickets now on sale

Groove along with the NHS bands at the Big Band Boogie, August 30 at 7pm.

Tickets via

Strings, Wine and Cheese

Enjoy the soothing sounds of our String Ensembles whilst relaxing with a cheese platter and a glass of wine. A very civilised evening coming up on September 5! Book via

Future Earth: STEM in action as Northcote scientists get to work

Photo: Enjoying VR with RMIT

Celebrating Science Week

A number of events took place at Northcote High School to celebrate National Science Week from August 14 to 18. This year’s theme was: Future Earth.


Fifty students took part in a CSIRO webinar hosted by Bernie Hobbs where Space Scientists from across the globe answered student questions about advances in space technology and gave insights into their different fields of research.

Engineers Without Borders ran a hands on nanotechnology workshop looking into how nanomaterials can be used to waterproof everyday objects.


Members of RMIT University’s STEM department provided us with VR headsets so that students could experience alternative world of Virtual Reality. A big thankyou to all involved!

Northcote Writes (and reads, and slams...)

Photo: Author Lili Wilkinson will run workshops for our young writers

NHS Writers' Festival 2017

Over August 25-26 we celebrated the annual Northcote High School Community Writers' Festival.  The events were thoroughly enjoyed by all - we're looking forward to more from our young writers!


Poetry Slam

Gender, sport, butterflies, rebelliousness, losing weight and boiled lollies were topics which sparked the composition of some of the poems at our third annual poetry slam. A stellar line-up of students and staff performed for a diverse and rowdy audience who responded enthusiastically to the poetry and to the as always pitch-perfect hosting by Mantra MC.


A panel of volunteer judges led by Ms Aylin Gokmen (all the way from Kurunjang Secondary College) pronounced the team Two and a Half Redheads (Ruby Wright, PJ Burgmeister and Zhana Maticevski-Shumack) the winners. 


Honourable mentions went to Ted Wearn-Jarvis, Ethan Munro and Harley Hefford. Thanks as always to  Carlene Wilson who organises the night itself but also pre- slam training and Northcote’s entry in the Out Loud schools slam competition. The winning slam team  of Zhana, PJ and  Ruby is also one of five to be selected for the outLoud Finals which is an official (and already sold out) event in Melbourne Writers’ Festival. Up for grabs is a paid gig and mentoring by professional slam poets. We wish them every success! For students who don’t go to outLoud, the reward is in having their writing recognised and getting a boost in confidence.


Thanks to Martin Ramsay, Xanthe, Jocelyn, Lincoln and his sound team and Kate Challis for their contributions.


Northcote High School Community Writers’ Festival                              

What is particularly special about this day is the chance to meet and talk to writers in a small group setting. Students, staff and parents and community members were able to hear, meet and question Young Adult Fiction writers Will Kostakis, Lili Wilkinson, Archie Fusillo, Michael Pryor and Simmone Howell. Each year, Fairfield bookshop provides the opportunity to buy copies of the writers’ books so that they can be personally autographed on the day. Two of these authors will also return to NHS to run workshops with our students - see below for details.


The lesson that is learned each year is that writing is hard but rewarding work, and that even professional writers struggle with the process. On Saturday, as we sat in a circle in our Library with the writers, our students saw that writing is not magical or a matter of inspiration, but a something that anyone who sets their mind to it can do. To hear Archie Fusillo speak of how the one draft copy of his first novel was lost, and how he had to spend two years re-creating it is heart breaking, but also a lesson in perseverance.  


Thanks to Merrin Healy, Carlene Wilson, Library Staff Jenny Tripp, Justine Sayers, and Chloe Powell for being in the organising coalition and Martin Ramsay, Vicki Konstantinou and Kevin Hoole for that extra support on the day. Thanks also to Kate Challis for administrative assistance.


Prue Morris

Opportunity: Workshops for young writers

Monday 4th September and Tuesday 5th September

Northcote High School Library and English Departments are hosting two free workshops with award winning authors for students.


Monday 4th September

9am to 12pm – A writing workshop with Lili Wilkinson

Lili Wilkinson is the author of ten books, including Scatterheart and Pink. She established, the Inky Awards and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.  Her latest novel is The Boundless Sublime.



Tuesday 5th September

11.30am to 3.20pm -  A writing workshop with Simmone Howell

Simmone Howell is the award-winning author of YA novels Girl Defective, Everything Beautiful and Notes from the Teenage Underground. She also writes non-fiction about dream houses, teen movies and ways to map a city. She lives in Melbourne and is currently working on a memoir about her formative female influences.


These workshops are provided free to Northcote students who are interested in speaking with authors and undertaking a half-day workshop with each author.


To participate you must use this link to book your place.  There are only 30 spaces per workshop, so you need to get in fast!



Contact the Ms Tripp and the library staff in person or email Mr Gilby ([email protected])



Monday 4th September

9am to 12pm – A writing workshop with Lili Wilkinson

Careers News

Photo: Visit the Careers page on myNorthcoteHigh

VTAC Registration now open

Year 12 students planning to undertake studies at a Victorian university or tertiary institution in 2018 now need to register with VTAC. Students have attended an assembly, during which the process was explained, and they will work with their tutors in Daily Connect to register this term.

Students and parents can find helpful information via the following links:

This site remains the final authority on all matters relating to VTAC applications.

In order to demystify this process for families, additional resources have also been posted at the links below:

For VTAC generally:

For SEAS information:

For scholarship information:

To double check everything and learn more at specific uni websites:

It’s Open Day Season at the Unis

It's Open Day season at Universities, so it's a great time for students in Years 9 and above to start exploring what our tertiary institutions offer. Please download the calendar below and the list of suggested questions to help with your planning. One very useful tip for attending Open Days is to identify the three most important things you need a uni to be able to provide for you, as this will be different for everyone. Frame these items as questions and ask the same three questions at each uni to get a realistic comparison.

Try to visit Open Days before you get to Year 12, as they can be very helpful in clarifying what you might like to do in the future , regardless of whether you end up attending that particular uni.

Monash University Science: Parent Chat

Don’t know what you don’t know?

This year Monash Science is offering another resource for parents who may need some additional advice regarding their child’s selection of a Science degree.

We recognise university information can be complicated and confusing and we’re providing an opportunity for parents to speak directly with a Science VTAC Selection Officer.

If you hadn’t had the opportunity to meet us at Open Day or at our other events and would like answers to;

  • How does a Science subject bonus, SEAS or Monash Guarantee affect ATAR?
  • Our entry requirements, subject pre-requisites etc...
  • Differences between our courses and majors
  • What to do if your child doesn’t achieve the ATAR they were hoping for
  • Or anything else…

Simply email [email protected] with a contact number and we’ll be in touch soon. 

RMIT Interview Skills Workshops for VCE Students

Now in its sixth year, Ready Set Design is a series of three workshops for students in Years 11 and 12 where they can learn about careers and tertiary programs in design, develop their folio, and practice their interview and presentation skills.


Registrations are now open for workshop 3 (Interview Bytes), which will be held on Monday 25 September at RMIT’s City campus.


The Interview Bytes workshop will give students the opportunity to hear from a panel of RMIT design tutors and current students about what to expect during a program interview. The panel will share their experience as interviewers and interviewees, and discuss the kinds of questions students may be asked, as well as some techniques for presenting their folio to the interview panel.


Attending students will have the opportunity to ask questions and to speak with students and teaching staff across a range of RMIT design programs.


To register their attendance, students must visit our event page, select the workshop they wish to attend, and provide their details. Students aged under 18 years of age will also need to return a consent form signed by their parent or carer.


Bond University AFL Scholarship

As a proud partner of AFL Queensland, Bond University is offering two Riewoldt Family AFL Excellence Scholarships for students commencing university in January 2018.


Offered in partnership with the Riewoldt Family, these unique full tuition scholarships provide an opportunity for one male and one female to enhance their footballing career whilst also gaining a first class educational experience at Bond University.


The scholarship offers 100% tuition remission for any single undergraduate or postgraduate degree or diploma, excluding the Bond Medical Program. The scholarship also includes free accommodation for the first year should the scholar wish to live in a University residence.

Applications for this scholarship are now open and will close 1 September.

Please refer to the attached brochure.


School Holiday activities

William Angliss Workshops

William Angliss Institute will be conducting workshops for secondary school students in the upcoming September school holidays. Each day will include a hands-on activity in one of our specialist areas, a campus tour, catered lunch and a course information session. The program is recommended for students in Year 9 - 12.

Students can now register for the following workshops:
-Hospitality Day: Monday 25 September
-Tourism and Travel Day: Wednesday 27 September
-Cookery Day: Thursday 28 September

Register Now

For more information please visit


JMC Academy

This September, JMC Academy Melbourne will offer 6 various Workshops based on Animation, Audio Engineering & Sound Production, Contemporary Music & Performance, Entertainment Business Management, Film & Television and Game Design.

Wednesday 13th September 2017
Tickets are $30 and include a light snack. Places are limited and can only be purchased online. 

Find out more

Students can use the code 'MAKEIT25' to get 25% off the Workshop ticket price.
*Discount code will expire on August 31st at 5:00pm.

AUSTSWIM COURSE -  Training and employment opportunity for keen swimmers


Want to be a camp counsellor?

CCUSA and French Woods Information Session in Melbourne

  • Tuesday September 12th
  • 6:30pm – 7:30pm
  • STA Travel Hub: Level 3, 6 Riverside Quay, Southbank.   

Hear first-hand what camp life is all about, learn more about what qualities Camp Directors are looking for in their staff/applicants and have all their questions answered. 

French Woods is America’s leading Performing Arts facility where campers go to develop their talents in theatre, music, dance, circus, magic and more!  Plus the camp offers all the traditional sports, waterfront, arts/crafts and outdoor adventure activities. Australians aged 18 plus are needed to care for the campers (children aged 8 – 16) and facilitate the amazing programs and activities. Over the course of the summer 4000 campers enjoy the French Woods experience, and with that the camp needs over 500 seasonal staff!  The camp runs for 12 weeks over June to August.  CCUSA sponsor the special US J1 Visa needed to work at camp, screen and prepare participants for the experience, and provide on-going support once overseas.  


YouTube link to a short video filmed at French Woods that showcases a couple of Aussie participants: 

Go green and local

Sustainability tip of the fortnight

Did you know that Northcote High School has an active student environmental group: The Green Team? They are committed to enhancing the sustainability of the Northcote High School community, and to spreading awareness of the simple actions that can help to preserve our planet. Here is the second in a series of 'sustainability tips', brought to you by the Green Team.

Shop local, eat local

Have you heard the term ‘food miles’ before? It is the total distance food has travelled to get to your plate. For fruit and veggies, this might be from the farm, to the factory, to the supermarket and then to your plate. This could be thousands of miles just for a carrot or an orange. If you look at food that has been highly processed first (lollies, cookies, frozen pastries etc.) the distances can be exorbitant. All that travel takes time and money, and generates significant greenhouse gas emissions in transit.

Luckily, around Northcote we have several excellent sources of locally made and grown food. Check out some of the below options for fresher, tastier and more environmentally friendly food:


CERES – Stewart St, Brunswick East (

Farmers Markets - various locations including Carlton Primary School, Melbourne Uni, Fairfield Primary School, Collingwood Children’s Farm and Coburg North Primary School (see for full list)

Preston Market – Cramer St, Preston (

Victoria Market – Queen St, Melbourne (


For more information on food miles generally, check out


Northcote and China part 1: VCE offshore launches

Photo: Regan and the first VCE Physics class in Hengshui No1 HS

Northcote High School VCE commences in China

Last week a great international milestone was achieved for an Australian Government school. After five years of intensive work with key stakeholders, including numerous government departments and partner schools in China, the very first VCE class was delivered by Physics teacher Ms Regan Lin at Hengshui No1 High School. Almost 70 students at Hengshui No1 High School in Hebei province (south of Beijing) and Baotou Foreign Languages School (in the Inner Mongolia Semi Autonomous Zone) will study the VCE certificate with teacher mentoring from our very experienced teachers. 

For our staff, the professional development opportunities when mentoring partner teachers delivering the VCE overseas are profound and we have already seen the benefits this year, when six NHS staff spent part of the Term 2 holidays delivering workshops at a VCE Conference in Nanjing.

The VCE, a premier Australian curriculum, prompts and challenges students in Asian countries in new ways and tests new skills. And at the end of this, a student in China finishing the VCE and receiving an ATAR has access to an Australian tertiary institution through the same pathway as everyone else: an exciting prospect in China, as it is here.

The Victorian Government's "Partnerships for Prosperity" outlines the current China Strategy being pursued by the state. A pdf copy is linked from the Internationalizing [email protected] page on the school website.


Nick Murphy

Northcote and China part 2: our Young Leaders prepare for departure

Photo: Our Young Leaders to China team in their blazers

Year 9 students head to China for Young Leaders' program

In Term 4, nine Year 9 students, supported by Head of Humanities Liz Lenthall, will depart for a six week journey in China as part of the Victorian Young Leaders to China program. The program is operated by the Victorian Government and is a world-class, in-country immersion experience , designed to prepare students to live and work as citizens and future leaders in an inter-connected global community.  Our students join a team of 88 students, plus staff, from schools around the state and will spend time at Beijing University, experience a school placment in Nanjing at Yangzi High School, and enjoy a cultural tour of Shanghai.  They will work mostly closely with students from Auburn, East Doncaster and Suzanne Cory High Schools.  


The students attending are: Matthew Jackson, Isabelle Young, Nicholas Smith, Neo Diamond, Marlo Petrilli, Ben Murphy, Jacob Clarke, Rose Halloran and Dimitrios Syrbopolous.


The team has spent considerable time and effort preparing for their trip, including a weekend-long Pre-Departure Orientation camp recently, where they learnt strategies for developing cultural awareness, bonded as a group and explored expectations of themselves as leaders and program participants. The weekend also featured  a formal ceremony, attended by the Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley MP, representatives of the Chinese Embassy and Principals, in which the students were presented with their program blazers.

This program is a wonderful opportunity for our young people, developing resilience and independence, as well as their Chinese language, collaborative and leadership skills.  Northcote High School is proud to be part of the ongoing initiative for the fourth year in a row, and proud of our team. We look forward to learning from their experiences next term. 

Northcote and China part 3: Sister School visit

Photo: Huaibei and Northcote students and staff

Huaibei No 1 High School comes to town

August saw us welcome our Sister School, Huaibei No 1 High School from Anhui province in China. This is our 18th consecutive year of reciprocal visits between the two schools. Ours is one of the longest standing and most successful partnerships between a Chinese school and an Australian school.


Students visiting from Huaibei home-stayed with NHS families for five nights and spent a weekend with their host families. They also participated in an excursion to Healesville Sanctuary and classes at NHS. This was capped off by a concert where students performed for each other with the great assistance of Mr Hamit as MC.


"I wasn’t sure how it would go but having our homestay with us was the best experience I’ve had at school. We had a great time teaching each other games from our countries and playing music. I’d definitely recommend it to other students for next year." (Year 9 NHS student).


Much acknowledgement and gratitude to Sean Butler for organsing the visit, to Lixia Wang and the International Department, to the many staff who participated in activities and ran special classes and, of course, to our wonderful host families. 

Let their voices be heard! 

Photo: KJ and Rizzi have their photo taken for the local paper

Junior Choir in their first competition

On Wednesday the 16th of August, Northcote High School’s Junior Choir participated in the Victorian School Music Festival. After a morning of rehearsal the group of Year 7 and 8 students departed school and took the tram to Federation square. After having lunch, the choir made their way to Deakin Edge, the facility in which the competition would take place. While they were waiting in registration, the nerves started to build as other schools arrived at the venue. Northcote was second to perform. Before the performance commenced, the choir was escorted to a small room underneath the stage to warm up before taking the stage.


After the performance of ‘Let Your Voice Be Heard’ by Matthew Emery and ‘How Can I Keep from Singing’ arranged by Greg Gilpin, the chief adjudicator, Jodie Spooner-Ryan, gave them feedback and helped the choir to improve their sound. After the performance and workshop, the group enjoyed watching some of the other schools perform and improve. After all the performances the students took the train back to school. The junior choir were given tapes of feedback and also a video to recall the performance. During rehearsals, the choir reviewed their performance and took the given feedback into great consideration while practicing.


Other students had these things to say:

“It was a fun day and a really good experience!”

“I feel like my performing skills have really benefited from this experience.”

“It was a great bonding experience with the other members of the choir.”


The directors are so proud of what the choir has accomplished. They couldn’t be happier with the choir’s first public performance and competition.


 By Hannah Bartley and Kitty Robinson 8J

Parents of the choir can see the video recording on the myNortcoteHigh page for Junior Choir through ClickView.

State Schools Spectacular: sister act

Sisters KJ (Year 12) and Rizzie (Year 9) Rotunno are both featured as singers in this year's State Schools' Spectacular.  The Northcote Leader recently visited the school to take their photo as part of the Spectacular promotion: look out for them in an upcoming edition! Northcote musicians Greta McNab and Layla Maitri and production crew Antonia Coutts and Hamish Larkin are also featured in the show. Congratulations to all students chosen.

Invitations: Year 11s on film and our drama students are Morphing...

A mixed bag of media 

The Year 11 VCE Media class invites you to the preview night of their short films they have created in Term 3. The films include: a 70s girl being given a mixtape, a depressed spy's last moment, a boy running to Coles to impress his girlfriend by making pizza, a man who seeks revenge for betrayal, an colourful claymation, and a gangster film. Over the last 6 weeks the class have been working on their film in groups, each individual had a specialist role that they had to fulfil including script writer, producer, director and editor. The film night will take place on Monday September the 11th at 7pm in the school library, food and drinks will be provided for purchase.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students via  and the proceeds of the tickets will go towards the media department for new equipment. We welcome all students, teachers, parents and community members to the night. 


Jaia Guilford-Carey (11E)​

School play - save the date!

An original new work called The Morphing is coming up in the first week of 

Term 4. Written this year by NHS teacher Harley Hefford and directed, 

designed and performed by students, the show takes inspiration from Franz

Kafka's Metamorphosis - a person waking up to discover they're a giant beetle!

Hades, King Midas and an Uber Eats Guy are also part of the ensemble in the

strange, hilarious and transportative world of this fresh piece of theatre.


SAVE THE DATE - Fri Oct 13 and Sat Oct 14

Request: Student ID cards

Please ensure your child has their ID card

Northcote High School issues all students with a Student Identity card at the beginning of each year. This card contains a magnetic reader strip and student details, including a photo. We expect all students to carry their Student ID cards on them at all time. This is not only for their safety and identification but for staff and student convenience at school to accomplish daily activities such as copying in the library, signing in late, borrowing sports equipment and more.


It has come to our attention that there are a large number of students who have misplaced or are not bringing to school their Student ID cards. We ask for your support to order a new card if your child is without one.


Below is a step by step process to rectify lost Student ID cards:

  1. Log into your Compass parent profile and select the tools tab. (The cogwheel in the right top hand corner next to your name)
  2. Select the “My Compass Identity Card” option.
  3. Once loaded, the page will have an option with a green plus symbol and a link that says “Click here to order a new Compass identity Card”
  4. You will be bought to a screen prompting you to enter your payment details. Once you have filled out the details, select the “Order Now” button at the bottom of the screen
  5. The cards will be sent to the school within the next few weeks. Once arrived, it will be put into the child’s Tutorial teacher’s pigeonhole to be handed to the student next Tutorial class.

The General Office can order Student ID cards for your child if you are unable to access Compass, however it may take longer to process.


Thank you for your ongoing support of Northcote High School and our processes.


Breanna Flynn

Attendance Officer and Administration 

Achievement and Curiosity: VCE Folio Season

Photo: Students at work in the Art Studio

A busy time for our artists and designers

The studio is churning, brushes are dabbing, cameras are rolling, machines are stitching- it is the time of the year when all Art and Design folios are coming to the end.


Many of our VCE Art and Design students have been working hard this year in developing their folio in Studio Art, VCD, Media and Product Design. They have been exploring new concepts, techniques and media, testing and challenging themselves and building their skills. It is a very exciting time for students to see their ideas come to fruition, but at the same time it can be very stressful due to the workload that is required of them. Over the next few weeks, students will need to plan for the submission date and manage their time efficiently.

Families and teachers,  please be mindful of the extra stress these students might be experiencing at the moment and offer your support when it’s required. Students will be presenting their folio and final work for assessment in September. We look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labour!


Connie Stewart 

Head of Visual Art

Stay safe on your bike

If you've got a head, you need a helmet!

A reminder that, as required by law, students should wear helmets if they are riding bikes to and from school (the contents of their skull are too valuable to risk!).  We have recently had concerned community members ring us about student riders on Westbourne Grove travelling at high speed: with traffic flows in to the school disrupted due to road works, students should take extra care in these areas.


To ensure pedestrian safety, bike riders should also walk their bikes through the school grounds, and park them only in designated areas.  If your child rides to school we would appreciate you discussing these points with them. 

Community notices

Girls Make Games

Girls Make Games (GMG) summer camp, hosted by the Faculty of Engineering, Monash


15 January 2018 - 20 January 2018

9am - 4pm

Lawson Room, Building 69, Room 201 [22 Alliance Way, Clayton Campus]


Want to design, program and publish your own video game? 


What will you learn in a week?

  • Game Programming
  • Game Design
  • Game Art
  • Intro to VR
  • Audio Engineering
  • Practice Pitching to Industry Experts


Girls Make Games is an international game development program designed to inspire middle and high school girls to learn game design, programming and entrepreneurship. Girls Make Games is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of designers, creators, and engineers.​

​Pre-registration Link:


At this time, GMG are offering an early registration discount of AUD 50 (automatically applied when registering).


GMG also offer need-based financial aid scholarships. Families may apply for scholarships by completing the financial aid application found here:


Notification of works on Merri Creek bike path

City West Water are currently undertaking a large water main renewal in Rushall Reserve, North Fitzroy.

To complete the works we will be closing a section of the Merri Creek Trail between Holden Street and the Koonda Lat Bridge. Please see the attached for further details.


Schoool holiday music program

A Northcote parent runs a school holiday music program in Brunswick called "Girls Rock! Melbourne", aimed at encouraging girls and female-identifying 10-17 year olds to learn, play and perform music.


The program offers full-scholarship places, as well as reduced and full-fee places and our next week long program is in the September school holidays. See attached flyer for more information.


Come n

Want to try something new this Summer?


The Fitzroy Baseball Club are hosting their Annual Come n Try Day on Saturday 9 September, giving kids (big & small) the chance to try baseball and/or t-ball for the first time. 



The day is completely free and all equipment for new players will be provided.


For more information or to ask questions, visit their Facebook event via

Come 'n'

Holy Trinity Cricket Club are now recruiting for girls aged 10-18. See attached flyer for details.


Cricket for boys and girls

Register now for the 2017/18 Cricket season with Clifton Hill Cricket Club. Seeking players of all ages. See flyer attached.


More cricket opportunities

We are currently promoting our cricket program for Edinburgh Cricket Club (based in Fitzroy) which starts at the end of September. See details below.


Fun and fitness for Fathers' Day

Join the YMCA Fathers' Day Fun Run at the iconic Tan Track. For registration details see attached flyer.


Opportunity: WEP student exchange

Are you interested in an overseas exchange, or hosting an exchange student? See attached flyer for details or visit


Northcote High School Newsletter
OPEN DAYS 2017_by date-poster version.pdf
Qs to ask at Open Day.pdf
Bond University AFL Scholarship.pdf
JMC_Flyer_ insert as photo somewhere - thanks.pdf
SNAP flyer.pdf
GMG monash_A4.compressed (1).pdf
Play cricket with CHCC teen.pdf
Invitation - Join us at YMCA Father's Day Fun Run.pdf
GRM-SEPT-A4-FLYER (2) (1) (1).pdf
FBC Come n Try - Social.jpg
Come and try cricket PDF (1).pdf